Read our current issue by clicking on the cover below. Read Light‘s poems of the week
photo: Karen C. Craft
by Ruth S. Baker
“Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous cat, dead at 7”
The door gets opened when I please.
I prowl the whole night long,
Then sleep on warm computer keys.
You think I’m happy? Wrong.
I’ve pricey sofas for my claws
Plus Frank Lloyd Someone’s chairs,
All mine for shredding into straws.
I sit on saints. Who cares?
Oh, here we go. You think, perchance,
Scared mouse for every meal
And snacks of prized umbrella plants
Impress me? Please. Big deal.
I have to eat and mate and doze
Then do it all again.
Dear God! One hardly even knows
To whom one can complain.
by Julia Griffin
“Library stink: smell of durian prompts evacuation at University of Canberra”
In test-time, librarians say,
It’s hard to dislodge a BA;
But what neither flu
Nor boredom will do,
A dishful of durian may.
by Dan Campion
No requiem for Doris Day,
In film the fairest queen of May,
Can capture her pellucid tone
Or claim her luster for its own.
Warner movies of her era,
Their patter à la Yogi Berra
(Not exactly Sophocles),
Reduced her range to bait and tease;
Like Elvis she was handicapped
But still held audiences rapt
With spirit no one’s caged or mapped
Or bottled, packaged, cloned, or apped.
Now, therefore, let us celebrate
An actor who transcended fate
And singer who from “Que sera”s
Could wring a flinty world’s applause.
by Patrick Biggs
“Mittens, the Cat of Wellington, is a Turkish Angora famous for his wanderings around New Zealand’s capital. He is known to visit shops, churches, universities, restaurants, bars, hotels, and people’s homes. His adventures are documented by his thousands of fans on social media. Recently, he was detained by Wellington police after being spotted dangerously crossing the road by the city’s library. He was later released without charge.”
New Zealand’s justice system, it disheartens me to say,
Absolves too many criminals, permitting crime to pay.
Though trivial delinquents should of course be spared the joint,
Regrettably a recent matter illustrates my point.
They’d Mittens in their clutches and they let the felon out,
Despite the bleak skulduggery we know that cat’s about.
They merely took his details down: aged nine, of Turkish ilk,
Exhibiting a ginger coat as velvety as silk.
They’d Mittens in their custody and let him out the door.
He only jaywalked? Au contraire, his crimes are manyscore.
He’s plundered every shop in town, he’s broken into homes—
No place is safe from trespass for as long as Mittens roams.
They’d Mittens in detention and unwisely let him go.
You might have seen him at the church but, trust me, it’s for show.
More often he’s frequenting bars and running from the bill.
A mouse I spoke to hinted that his deeds are darker still.
by Orel Protopopescu
“As billionaires compete for art in an overheated market, the merely affluent are giving up.”
—The New York Times
Are you a middling millionaire?
Alas, you’ll leave no dent
in Christie’s catalog for one
percent of one percent.
Crave a furless, ferrous rabbit?
A Hockney of your own?
Don’t bother calling Sotheby’s.
They won’t pick up the phone.
Poor merely wealthy souls! It hurts
to think you’ve won, then lose
the chance to snuggle up with Koons’s
cute, metallic muse.
Why risk your dollars on a budding
Van Gogh or Miró?
They may be hot at auctions now,
but their returns were slow.
by Julia Griffin
“With blackest moss the flower-plots
Were thickly crusted one and all”
—Tennyson, “Mariana in the Moated Grange”
“Man makes deepest-ever dive in Mariana Trench and discovers … litter”
Within the Mariana Trench
Minute crustaceans flitter,
And maybe some spelunking tench
Will wave to our transmitter—
We thought. But now we find (a wrench
So wretched and so bitter!)
There’s trash beneath the ocean’s drench
To make a demon titter.
The divers’ teeth are all a-clench:
There’s crud in every critter;
The very corals seem to blench.
Who is the benefiter?
The judge is sleeping on the bench;
The President’s on Twitter,
As Mariana’s Moated Trench
Explodes with loathsome litter.